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Gluten Free A-Z Blog by Judee Algazi - 1w ago



Looking for a simple hearty side dish that is both flavorful and healthy? Sauteed cabbage and noodles have always been one of my favorites.  Chinese Noodle Salad is my variation of my noodle salad, but I've added sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds to give it that Asian flavor that so many people love.




In addition, I've added some chopped veggies and sunflower seeds  for a little crunch and fiber.

Whether you are looking for a dish to bring to a pot luck or a side to serve for dinner, this easy recipe is sure to please. After all , who doesn't love pasta and best of all it doesn't need to be heated up. It is delicious at room temperature for easier serving.

You have your choice of what type of pasta to use. Of course I selected a gluten free variety-
I have been seeing red lentil pasta twists at Whole Foods, Aldi's and even the supermarket.  It's made from 100% red lentils. The ones I've bought at both Aldi and Whole Foods are both organic and gluten free.


I love the slightly reddish color of the red lentil noodle, and it's firm texture in the salad. However, I did feel the red lentil flavor  was a little overbearing in this recipe so next time I might change to a brown rice gluten free pasta that I get at Trader Joe's and save my red lentil pasta for a palin bowl of pasta and cheese. 

It's a great side for a group because it takes into consideration guests with specific diets needs. It is gluten free ( of course you need to use a gluten free pasta) , egg free, diary free. If you leave out the sunflower seeds , it can also be nut free.

Maybe I'll make some for Valentine's Day


Ingredients: 
1/2 head of white cabbage, chopped
1 onion, sliced 
2  of olive oil 
1/2 red pepper, chopped 
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup of toasted sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup of sesame oil 
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of 21 Salute salt free seasoning from Trade Joe's ( or Mrs. Dash) 

Directions: 
In a large skillet, suttee the onions in the olive oil on a low flame for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped cabbage and saute until the cabbage is soft and set aside.  

Cook 12 ounces of dry noodles according to the directions on the package.  Drain noodles and toss with the sauteed onion and cabbage mixture in a large bowl. Add the raw chopped vegetables ( red pepper, parsley, tomatoes) and the sunflower seeds. Add the sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, salt and pepper, and a salt free seasoning like 21 Salute from Trader Joes.  Serve at room temperature.

Variation: omit the sesame oil and sesame seeds and toss with Italian dressing and 1/2 cup of feta cheese


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Are you afraid you will get the flu? 





One of the first things I do if I start to come down with the slightest sore throat, sniffle, or cough.  

1.  I Reach for the Zicam immediately- the sooner the better-
 Zicam really works for me if I start to take it immediately. Last week I was developing a cough-I was afraid I was getting the flu. I took Zicam before bed and first thing in the morning for 3 days- 
2.  I Start taking Manuka Honey K-factor 16-
3.  I increase my Vitamin C and Vitamin D 
4. I drink lots of hot water and lemon, herbal tea, and homemade soup. In fact I have a  stove top soup recipe that can be made easily and quickly. or use one of my Instant pot recipes.
I frequently come across interesting posts and articles that might also be of interest to you my readers.  I'm sharing an exceptionally good article by best selling author and nutritionist Louise Gittleman who I have been following for years. The post offers some very simple yet powerful suggestions to help prevent or deal with the flu.  

Here is a link to her article - with some valuable information
What I Would do If I Had The Flu


What natural things do you do ? 


Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. Please always check with your medical doctor if you have the flu or are feeling sick.  This information in this blog is strictly for educational purposes. 

I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a very small compensation at no cost to you.  Most bloggers do this to defray the costs of running a blog. I appreciate your support.
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I'm sharing some of my favorite healthy appetizers for the big Superbowl Game !  No reason to eat a lot of junk when you can make some of these great tasting healthy appetizers.




This year I am especially interested because I live just outside of Philadelphia ! It will definitely be exciting cheering on the Eagles while enjoying some of these healthy appetizers that meet gluten free and vegetarian standards as well.


Mexican Corn and Bean Bake- A hearty appetizer  that is fast, easy , and delicious





Classic Guacamole - easy to make and so delicious ( vegan) 



Avocado Caprese Salad - dairy free and delicious ( vegan) 




Homemade Baba Ganooush 

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We visited St Maarten . We were on the French side which has been repaired from much of the storm damage. The Dutch quarter was still devastated with roof's caved in and small airplanes turned over or crashed into walls- the effects of Irma were evident more so on the Dutch side.  

The Beach on the French side was beautiful and the local restaurants offered beach chairs, umbrella, bathroom, locker and shower, free Wifi and anywhere from 4-6 beers of drinks for just $20 -- 

Local beer and liquor was plentiful and cheap! 

Many local women walked the beach offering hair braiding, massages, and souvenirs. 







Roman Catholic Church on the Beach 

Smallest McDonald's I've ever seen
My husband posing at the port









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Do you love creamy whipped mashed potatoes but want to avoid the carbs?
Then you will love this amazing mashed cauliflower recipe.

Enjoy your favorite type of comfort food without the carbs in this easy to make recipe that of course is gluten free!

Mashed cauliflower has been around for a long time, but this version is the easiest and creamiest way to make this old favorite because it's made in the blender.



I simply cut up and steamed a cauliflower ( or use frozen cauliflower and steam it), place in the blender As an option I added a little cream cheese and grated cheese , but the vegan version tastes great as well. 




Vegan Version

If you prefer a dressed up vegan version, you can use coconut milk and some non dairy butter substitute to give it a more buttery taste.

Either way , whipped mashed cauliflower  makes a wonderful side that is nutritious, low carb, and appealing to kids and adults alike.

Everyone seems to have a special diet - this is very adaptable. I recently attended  a dinner party where the host served a double recipe of this wonderful side dish. Of the ten that attended, 3 had special needs diets. I was gluten free, the host was on a low carb diet, and another guest was nut free. This recipe met everyone's needs. There was not a drop left over.





Instant Pot Version 

I love using my instant pot to steam vegetables because it's fast and easy and there is no mess.
Simply cut up your raw cauliflower into chunks, place in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
Turn the steamer knob away from you and set the manual button or pressure cook button for 2 minutes. As soon as it stops cooking, release the steam by turning the steamer knob toward you ( follow the directions in your Instant Pot manual) . When all steam is released, open the lid and drain the cauliflower well.  Mash by hand with an immersion blender until creamy.





Why Cauliflower Is So Healthy?

1. It is a cruciferous vegetable which means it contains antioxidants and nutrients that may help protect against certain types of cancers.
2. Low in calories
3. Low in fat
4. Low in carbs
5. High in fiber

I like to include as many vegetables into my diet as possible, and I look for a variety of ways to eat them . Mashed cauliflower is one of my favorites.

I use cauliflower as a base in a variety of low carb recipes. Cauliflower is a perfect base for gluten free pizza, low carb and gluten free bread sticks,  See my Pinterest page for low carb cauliflower substitute recipes for my best cauliflower substitute recipes - they taste amazing.

Ingredients: 

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Vegan: 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk
Optional:  2 tablespoons of cream cheese and or 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Directions: 

Steam your cauliflower and drain ( in a steamer basket or in your Instant Pot) . Place the cauliflower, garlic, salt, pepper and optional ingredients into a blender. Blend until creamy. If you added shredded cheese , you could bake for 5 minutes on 350 degrees in a pre-heated oven or toaster oven.

Shared on my blog carnival list and also on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.


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Wordless Wednesday - Art Deco Neighborhood Hotel area  in South Beach

I love the Art Deco Neighborhood in South Beach, Florida. We recently visited the National Hotel  at 1677 Collins Ave on the beach! The charming hotel boasted a lovely indoor  restaurant and an outdoor beach restaurant ( the Aqua Club) t that served any sandwich on a delicious gluten free roll (Aqua Club menu) I ate the grilled veggie sandwich and was not disappointed.



The hotel itself was charming with it's celebrity theme.

This is a large bean bag type chair 



The pools, the cabanas, and set was outstanding. They do have the original older building but I would stay in the one of the newer poolside rooms. They have yoga classes on site and nightly entertainment.



The elevator in the lobby 
My plate at the Beach Restaurant
shared at Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday
Disclaimer: This is not a paid review-Just sharing my adventures
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Roasted Fennel , shallot and string bean salad is one of my favorite warm salads to serve to company. It is flavorful, kind of exotic, and makes a lovely presentation. 

It is perfect for your gluten free guest, your vegan guest, your nut free guest or your dairy free guest. Now a days, its seems like everyone has eating restrictions, and we need to find healthy tasty recipes that work for everyone.

Add caption


Have you ever made fennel?
It's a flavorful vegetable that tastes somewhat like licorice when it is raw but mellows into a completely mild taste when it is cooked. Although I enjoy adding it raw to my salads and crudites platters, my favorite way to make this interesting vegetable is to roast it.






Roasting seems to bring out the sweetness and flavor of most vegetables. It is especially true with the fennel and shallots in this recipe.

There is a short learning curve to working with fennel. It's an odd looking large wide bulb of a vegetable that you need to understand how to peel, cut and prepare. I've included a helpful You Tube video at the bottom of this post on how to cut a fennel bulb.

Being low in calories and rich in nutrients and flavor, fennel is a dieter's friend.



5 Healthy Facts About Raw Fennel 
1. Excellent source of Vitamin C
2. High in Potassium ( helpful for high blood pressure)
3. Rich in antioxidants and provides anti inflammatory properties
4. High in fiber ( we all need more fiber)
5. Low in calories ( 27 calories per cup raw) adds variety to salads

5 Ways To Eat Fennel: 
1.) Peel, cut and add it to any salad ( like celery)
2.) Prepare and cut like sticks for a crudites platter with other vegetables and dip
3.)  Add to soup- my friend swears it is her secret ingredient in her chicken soup
4.)  Roast on a cookie sheet tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper
5.)  Make my Roasted Fennel, Shallot, and  String Bean Salad ( Recipe below)





Warm Fennel, Shallot and String bean Salad

Ingredients:
2 fennel bulbs, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces ( like the size of your thumb finger)
1 pound of shallots, cut in half lengthwise from the root end
1 pound of string beans ( I used Haricot thin beans) , washed and trimmed if needed
1/4 cup of olive oil
Himalayan Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees
Mix the shallots and fennel in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
Spread the mixed vegetables on 2 parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for about 30-35 minutes until they begin to look caramelized. While the vegetables are roasting in the oven, prepare to steam the string beans. Place a small steamer basket into a a 2 quart saucepan with enough water to cover the steamer basket. Bring to a boil, throw in the string beans, cover, and steam for 2 minutes. Remove string beans and place immediately into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside. When the fennel and shallots are done allow them to cool for 5 minutes and then mix them with the drained beans. 

Fennel is a great way to add some variety to your choice of vegetables. 


This YOUTUBE VIDEO was really helpful: 
How to peel and cut fennel You tube

How to you make fennel? 
Please share thoughts or additional ideas in the comments!!


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This year I gave myself a very special birthday gift- Self Care! I decided to get,  a massage, but if you look below I've listed 13  inexpensive ways you can indulge in self care to relax, rejuvenate, and de-stress for pennies in your own home.


My birthday was in December and we were in the Miami area. I found a wonderful Groupon for a spa on the beach. 

My package included a 50 minute massage, a fabulous facial, lunch of my choice from the restaurant menu, a glass of champagne or lemon infused water, free beach parking and a water front private Tiki hut for two for the day.
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By the end of the day , I felt rejuvenated, relaxed, and inspired. It was a wonderful birthday gift that I gave to myself- Self Care is so important!

You don't have to wait for your birthday to do something special for yourself. There are lots of small things you can do for yourself that are inexpensive and can be enjoyed in your own home. 

Self care is important and only we can give it to ourselves. 
You don't have to go to a spa to pamper yourself. 



13 Inexpensive Self Care Ideas for 2018

  1. Take an Epsom Salt Bath- Epsom salts are rich in magnesium which help relax muscles and Epsom salts also help release toxins- so take 10 or 15 minutes to enjoy an Epsom salt bath. Add essential oils to your Epsom salts to add relaxing fragrance and enhance your experience.
  2. Drink Lemon Water Daily Upon Waking- Lemon water helps you detox. Start with a glass each morning when you wake up- How? Simply bring a cup of water to a boil, pour into a tea cup and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon or lime ( or to taste) . Add a little honey if you need it or drink plain. 
  3. Stop Whatever You Are Doing for 5 minutes ! Dance and Sing Out Loud to Music- Take 5 -10 minutes to put on your favorite up beat song and stop everything and dance and or sing. The movement will help release stress and the music will help release emotional tension. Sing along, dance, and release. 
  4. Play Classical Music While You Work- Before I retired, I used to teach in a high school. One of the secretaries played classical music in her office all day. Whenever I walked into her office, my entire body relaxed. The classical music can have a profound effect on our mood and tension. So next time you are feeling stressed and have a lot to do , listen to some classical music  in the background!
  5. Walk Each Day- Exercise is essential to good health. If you can't do anything else make sure that you walk each day. If you can't walk outside, go to the mall. Many malls open at 7 am for walkers. If you can't go to the mall, walk in your apartment building hallways or walk in your home. Even walking in place will help. Can't do a half hour? Do 5 minutes a few times a day. Just get yourself moving- no excuses. Find music that you love to accompany you on your walk or just bond with nature.
  6. Watch a Short Inspirational You Tube Video-This is one of my favorite ways to explore new ideas for self care. You Tube contains a great variety of videos ranging from meditations, yoga, inspirational talks , music, etc. When you need to de-stress, want inspiration, or just need ideas on how to - like how to massage your scalp, look for a You Tube video- costs you nothing and gives you so much. 
  7. Massage Your Scalp- This is another way to de-stress and indulge in self care. Give yourself a 5 minutes scalp massage- use coconut oil if your hair and scalp are dry- put on soft music and decompress. 
  8. Eat Soaked Almonds to Help Alkalize Your Body- I learned this many years ago from an Ayurvdic doctor and healer. Almonds are very alkalizing . For good health, we need to keep our body ph in balance. It is important to soak the almonds overnight and peel off the skin in the morning . I always ate them first thing in the morning after my glass of hot lemon water.See  How to soak and eat almonds.
  9. Skin Brushing-Skin brushing is a great way to help your circulation and brush away dead skin. You can do it before your shower! - 
  10. Have a Morning Routine-I find the best way to take care of yourself is to develop a morning routine. I am retired and without structure the day just passes by. Each morning, I take a one hour walk, followed by my lemon water, skin brushing, shower and then my soaked almonds.  When I used to teach, I always got up early to walk ! It just made me feel better all day..In addition, I belonged to a gym and exercised 4 days a week. A routine helps because there is nothing to think about, you just do it!
  11. Light a Non Toxic Candle- candles can set the mood to help you relax- 
  12. Make a Smoothie or Fresh Vegetable Juice- fruits and vegetables are loaded with important and valuable antioxidants that help your body fight off free radicals that help prevent aging and disease. Use a Vitamix or a juicer. 
  13. Soak Your Feet - fill a bucket with warm water, add some Epsom salts mixed with a drop of essential oil of your choice, put on some some music and soak for 5 minutes. This will help you relax and help draw some toxins out of your feet. 



              Soak Almonds Overnight and the skin will pop off in the morning- almonds are very alkalizin

            Happy 2018- Take Care of Yourself
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The signs say-" no feeding  stray cats"- but lots of people feed them.
 They do look healthy and beautiful.

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Christmas cookies don't have to be full of sugar and artificial ingredients. These gluten free and grain free almond cookies are simple yet extremely tasty and healthy . The recipes contains only 3 ingredients and no grains of any kind. The best part is that they can be prepped and baked in under 15 minutes.

With a prep time of 5 minutes and a cook time of 8- 10, this quick and easy cookie can be whipped up at the spur of the moment for your family or friends to enjoy all during the holidays. You will feel good giving them to your kids because they are made from healthy ingredients.


This recipe was given to me by my friend whose Nanny from the Philippines makes these for their family. I reduced the sugar and added some chopped dried fruit.

They are made with wholesome raw sliced almonds which I purchased at Trader Joe. The almonds were reasonable, and I was surprised that they are also available online at Amazon Trader Joe's Raw Sliced Almonds - If you don't live near a Trader Joe, this is a real help to be able to take advantage of the savings online.

I also use a non - bleached parchment paper that I buy for 5.99 a roll in a local supermarket. I noticed that they sell the same brand online at Amazon for 4 rolls IF YOU CARE 100% Unbleached Silicone Parchment Paper, 70-Foot Roll (Pack of 4) for $21.14.

I live in a high traffic area and lately I have begun to buy more on Amazon Prime for convenience as well as also I sometimes get a better price. With Prime, I usually get my order in 2 days and no shipping charge.

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Makes: i dozen cookies


Ingredients: 
1 cup of sliced almonds
1/2 cup of chopped dried fruit of choice ( chopped dates, chopped raisins, or chopped dried cranberries)
2 egg whites, mixed with a fork ( do not beat egg whites)
Optional: 1/4 cup of coconut crystal sugar


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large mixing bowl mix with a fork sliced almonds, chopped dried fruit, white of the 2 eggs that has been mixed lightly with a fork, and optional sweetener. Place spoonfuls on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies look crisp. Watch that they do not burn.


Just mix the egg white slightly with a fork- do not beat
Mix in the almonds and dried fruit
















Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links



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